In the past 2 weeks the MAET year 1 cohort has been preparing their own Maker Faire. We started by grouping up and choosing what we were going to present; we decided on a Circuit Maze. Then we had to figure out how to build our Circuit Maze which needed to be fully functional. This was not quite as easy as it sounds. We were given no directions on how or what to build, but this is what made it a great experience! We had to tap into our Personal Learning Network to see if we could gather any directions or helpful hints. Once we were all ready to present, we were also in charge of advertising our Maker Faire so that people would actually come! We used a variety of tools to help us, such as; Smore, Twitter, and Facebook.
Rather than having you go through this entire process yourself, I have provided a “How to” on how to create your own circuit maze.
Most of these materials were found at a craft store, Radioshack, or hardware store
- Thick metal wire that conducts electricity (we used copper and aluminum)
- electrical tape
- Duct or Gorilla Tape
- exacto knife
- glue or spray glue
- 9 volt battery
- alligator clipped wire (2)
- buzzer (Voltage range 3-28 VDC)
- Copper/soldering tape
Helpful hint– Test all of your materials BEFORE putting them together “permanently”.
Cut 2 pieces of cardboard to desired size. Then glue the two pieces of cardboard together. If you use regular Elmer’s Glue, you might have to wait until it dries before continuing. You could probably get away without this step, but we decided to do this to reinforce stability.
After testing your wire’s conductivity, bend about 1.5 inches on one end of your wire to a 90 degree angle. Then push this end through one side of your cardboard.
Now you are free to create the maze by bending the wire any way you please. If you need to, you can remove the wire from the cardboard while you are bending it, but I found it easier to gauge how much wire I had to work with. Remember to leave about 2 inches on the other end of your wire to push through the cardboard at the end.
Push the end of your maze through the cardboard and bend this toward the outside end of your cardboard.
Now cut a piece of copper tape that is the length of the distance between the 2nd hole to 1 inch past the board. Start one end of the tape underneath the bent wire to the edge of the cardboard and wrap it around to the top.
Secure both ends of your wire to the cardboard with Duct or Gorilla Tape. Make sure the wire is pressed firmly to the copper tape.
Use another piece of wire to create a wand to your desired size. Then bend a loop around your maze wire. Note: the smaller the loop, the harder your maze will be.
Connect one end of an alligator clip to your wand handle and the other end to the negative terminal of the 9 volt battery.
Using the electrical tape, tape the black wire from the buzzer to the copper tape. Then use an alligator clip to connect the positive terminal on the battery to the red wire on the buzzer.
When your wand touches your maze the buzzer should sound!! If nothing happens check out the helpful hints below!
- Make sure to buy a buzzer with the correct voltage allowance (listed in materials).
- If your buzzer doesn’t sound, try switching the alligator clips on the battery.
- Taping where your alligator clip is attached to your wand helps keep the wand from spinning.
- Test your wire before making your maze !! It might look like copper, but it could just be painted that color.